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Update on crazy spring weather, seedling planting and events

Hi all, Jerry here.

I have received several emails asking how our peppers are doing and what kind of crop we anticipate. I guess many of our customers remember that last year we had a naughty frost which froze all of our peach crop in southern Illinois. I am gald to say that southern Illinois peaches will be doing great this year. However we continue to once again have a strange winter. In southern Illinois we had more snow than our usual few inches but we had a severe ice storm that did a lot of damage to our electrical system, trees and fences and the ice was so heavy that it took down one of my greenhouses.

We also continue to have rain, rain and more rain. Usually we begin transplanting our peppers into the field by May 10. We had plans to get into the field today, May 22, but your guess it, more rain. Overall I anticipate a good crop of peppers although they will probably come two or three weeks later. We usually begin picking around the last part of June however this year it may be around the first or second week of July. But don’t get discouraged. Rain is good for the peppers and we are certain to get plenty of darn hot southern Illinois sun in July and August which will greatly contribute to bringing you those Darn Hot Peppers.

Stay tune to this BLOG and I will keep you posted on what is happening down here at Rancho Bella Vista.

So, Thanks for asking. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Farmers Markets and Food Expos.

Mucho Amor,


Severe winter storms hit Cobden

Hi Yall,
I guess our winter vacation is officially over now. We were trying to squeeze a couple more weeks of relaxation time in before we get to work on germination and planting but mother nature had other ideas for us…
As you’ll see by the photos, we had a terrible Ice Storm here in Southern Illinois back in February.  We’re just getting caught up from the clean up now. It started on a Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning everything was covered in ice and “light snow” on top of that.  Also Tuesday morning we woke up to no electricity…..thank goodness we have the fireplace for heat. We thought…..OK, a few hours and they’ll have it repaired.
Wrong………… was so widespread that everyone in Union County had some  variation of outages.   In Cobden, and Anna, they have Ameren electric company.  After 2 days they were back in power.  But with us ( Southern Illinois Electric Coop) it was a different story, power came back on after 5 days. We had some anxious moments about stuff in the freezers being possibly lost….but the peppers are Ok. No need to worry about running out of inventory for
We took some pretty heavy damage to the greenhouse and are working to re-build that now. More info on the re-building effort later…
What a winter!
– Carol